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Parliament starts inquiry into 'Rywingate'

Deputy Sejm Speaker Tomasz Nalecz (Labor Union) was elected head of a special parliamentary commission set up to investigate corruption charges against film producer Lew Rywin, who reportedly solicited a bribe of $17.5 million from Agora, the publisher of "Gazeta Wyborcza." Reports have suggested Rywin was claiming to be acting on behalf of Premier Leszek Miller's Democratic Left Alliance. Nalecz said he expects to hold the commission's first sitting on 25 or 27 January. The commission's meetings are to be open.

...'Gazeta Wyborcza' Editor regrets delayed reporting on 'Rywingate'

"Gazeta Wyborcza" Editor in Chief Adam Michnik told journalists on 15 January that, had he known that the bribery scandal involving Rywin and Premier Miller would affect such wide circles in Poland, he would have written about it earlier, PAP reported. The newspaper revealed the scandal, dubbed "Rywingate," on 27 December, more than five months after it reportedly originated. Michnik said he also regrets that he did not notify prosecutors about Rywin's alleged solicitation of a bribe. Michnik said his daily delayed reporting the story in order to gather as much information as possible. "If Rywin came to me and said he would sort something out for me [for a bribe], without referring to the prime minister's name, I would have simply shown him the door. [But] I was terrified by the fact that here, for the first time, the prime minister's name appeared," Polish Radio quoted Michnik as saying.

(RFE/RL 17.i.03)

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